Thematic Essay On The Crusades

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When we hear the word “crusades”, we tend to think “religious war between Christians and Muslims”. While this is true, it is a very simplistic view of the Crusades. Religion certainly played a very important role in the wars, but as we learn more about this period, we realize that there is much more going on than just a conflict between the devout on each side. The Roman and Byzantine church had long had their disagreements. One of the areas of contention revolved around church hierarchy. In the Byzantine model each bishop was independent and equal, but the Roman model claimed that the bishop of Rome, the Pope, was the supreme ruler of the church. For many years, the two continued to work together until the Great Schism of 1064 when the Byzantine Church refused to submit to the Pope. In 1088 Urban II became Pope and began to work to reform the Church in the West. He sought to be more attentive to business, free the church from secular controls, and regain control of the Eastern Church. These reform efforts helped to involve the Christians in the Crusades. During this time followers of Mohammad began attacks on Christian nations. They eventually conquered North Africa and Spain. Outposts were also set up in Italy. Here they sought to make…show more content…
One of the canons that resulted was a renewal of the “Peace of God” which called for restrictions on war and violence. Another was the granting of indulgence, the remission of penance for sin, for those who aided Christians in the East. After the Council, the Pope addressed a large crowd in an outdoor assembly where he stressed the plight of Christians in the East, the molestation of pilgrims and the desecration of holy places. He encouraged those who had disturbed the peace to turn their energies to a holy cause. The call of Pope Urban was met with an overwhelming response from both the military community and the general

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